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School Nutrition Announcements October 6, 2017

Happy National School Lunch Week!

Notice: The OPI School Nutrition Programs office will be closed on Monday, October 9



School Nutrition



Revised SY16-17 SFA-3 Administrative Review Form for FNS-640 Reporting


2017-18 Verification Summary Report

Free/Reduced Application Verification Process

Watch for additional instructions next week. For further details please see the USDA’s Eligibility Manual.


DoD Fresh Program (FFAVORS) has a new contract vendor for Montana, Grasmick Produce

Grasmick Produce will start to make deliveries on November 20th, so their catalog will be live on November 13th.   Your delivery schedule might change and the vendor will be contacting you to coordinate and set up a new delivery schedule.  Please have your order input to FFAVORS a minimum of 4 days in advance and order should be no less than $150.00 per delivery.   

The contact at Grasmick Produce is Erin Liberty at erinl@grasmickproduce.com or 1-208-522-0800.

If you have not heard from the vendor by the end of October, please reach out to Erin.   

If you have questions please contact Tessa Bailly at 406-444-4412.    


Grants and Contests

Apply for a $5,000 USDA School Nutrition Equipment Assistance Grant!

The Office of Public Instruction will fund eleven $5,000 equipment grants to school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) across Montana. The equipment grants serve to assist school districts in providing healthier meals that meet updated meal patterns, with an emphasis on increasing fruits and vegetables in school meals, improving food safety, and expanding access.  Funding for these competitive grants is provided by the Fiscal Year 2017 Agriculture Appropriations Act.

Please contact OPI School Nutrition Programs at 444-2501 or Camille McGoven at 444-4415 or cmcgoven@mt.gov with any questions.



"Save, Spend, Donate, Vacation" - It's time again for MFEC's Annual Poster Contest!

Submissions are due Friday, October 27, 2017. 


Encourage the children in your classroom, kindergarten through fifth grade, to learn the important life lesson of how to handle money responsibly. The understanding of good and bad choices in using money will influence when and how a child decides to spend his or her money. Winning submissions will be featured in MFEC’s 2018 Calendar! In “Save, Spend, Donate, Vacation,” creativity is highly encouraged. Children must illustrate the choices to make with money they receive or earn. Remember to use a lot of fun colors and fill the space! The poster template is separated by these four areas and should illustrate:

Poster Contest Materials

Participants must create their “Save, Spend, Donate, Vacation” posters creatively on the submission template provided below. Please read the Contest Guidelines and prepare a Contest Permission form to accompany each entry.

Access Poster Contest information now at mtmfec.org.


Press and Events

October 9th - 13th is National School Lunch Week!


National School Lunch Week (NSLW) is a celebration of the National School Lunch Program, and this year's theme is:


“School Lunch: Recipes for Success”


Here are some ideas to get your school involved in National School Lunch Week:


Are You Ready for Montana Crunch Time?

Whether you are at school, work, home, or out having fun, join Montana in celebrating Food Day and National Farm to School Month by crunching into locally and regionally grown apples on October 24th at 2:00pm MST.

This collective crunch encourages healthy eating and connects with farm to school and buy local initiatives throughout the state. It also a fun way to connect food and nutrition into learning from science to art! The Office of Public Instruction, Montana Team Nutrition Program, Montana State University, National Center for Appropriate Technology, Alternative Energy Resources Organization, Montana No Kid Hungry, Eat Right Montana, Montana Department of Agriculture, National Farm to School Network, Montana FoodCorps, and other statewide partners have created a guide and additional resources to help every Montanan crunch into a delicious apple this October.

For more information about Montana Crunch Time, to register and receive your guide, visit www.montana.edu/mtfarmtoschool or contact Aubree Roth at aubree.roth@montana.edu or (406) 994-5996. Make sure to collect a “crunch byte” (video, photos, or audio) to share! Use #MTCrunchTime to share you crunch byte on social media.


Join us for an upcoming webinar!

RHI presents: Let's Eat - Engaging Students in School Lunch

Wednesday, November 1st, 3:30- 4:00 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time

Presented by: Molly Stenberg, RDN, Montana Team Nutrition 

Have you heard of the Smarter Lunchroom Movement?  Schools make simple changes in their lunchrooms to nudge students to make healthier choices and waste less food.  It really works!  Learn best practices from Montana middle and high schools in engaging students in creating Smarter Lunchrooms. Students' ideas help create a more appealing cafeteria and menu through a School Lunch Advisory Committee (SLAC).  

Learn about a new, free Montana Team Nutrition resource, Let's Eat - Engaging Students in School Lunch which schools can use to 1) form a School Lunch Advisory Council (SLAC) and 2) teach middle and high school students through six lesson plans designed to meet Education Standards for Family Consumer Science, Health Enhancement and Science.  If you work with middle/high school students and are interested in healthy students, school wellness, school meals, and Smarter Lunchrooms, then this webinar is for you! Please join us to learn more.

Target audience - FCS teachers, FCCLA advisors, Health Enhancement and Business teachers, FoodCorps service members, School Food Service Directors, Extension Nutrition and SNAP Educators

Register here!

To receive a call back, provide your phone number when you join the event, or call the number below and enter the access code.

US Toll free: +1-855-797-9485

Access code: 920 425 978 


Montana Demonstrates Positive Results from State-Tribal Partnership 

FDPIR participant data helps State identify students eligible for school meal benefits

Direct Certification through the use of the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) participant data provides a great opportunity for States and Local Education Agencies to reach populations in and around Tribal communities, and assist schools serving these areas to enroll more eligible children in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Obtaining this data can be difficult, though, with past efforts relying on phone calls and manual exchanges of physical lists. In the fall of 2014, the Montana Office of Public Instruction School Nutrition Programs (MOPI SNP) sought to improve this process, by reaching out to Montana’s seven Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs). Given the sensitive nature of this data, MOPI SNP’s staff embarked on a road trip across 147,000 square miles to discuss the issue with Tribal representatives in person.

Through these efforts, the State of Montana established data sharing partnership agreements with six of the seven ITOs, with the seventh near completion. With these agreements in place, the data is exchanged electronically, allowing MOPI SNP to quickly and accurately match students. In School Year 2016-2017, its first full year of matching, MOPI reported nearly 200 direct certifications via their match process - that means almost 200 children directly attributed to their new data sharing partnership. MOPI SNP can be assured that their hard work and effort has benefitted their Tribal partners, and children in these communities are being provided the best opportunity to participate in the NSLP. 

Montana's FDPIR Direct Certification efforts are associated with a Direct Certification Improvement Grant project. For more information, please see USDA FNS Direct Certification Improvement Grants.

Read more about Montana’s FDPIR-Direct Certification efforts in the Spring/Summer 2017 Match to Meal newsletter published by the Food and Nutrition Service’s Child Nutrition Programs.


Wake up Montana – Feeding Local Beef to Big Timber Students



Training and Resources

Montana Local Food Show on October 10 in Bozeman

Interested in procuring more local foods for your program?   Want to connect with Montana vendors?   

Consider attending the first annual food and beverage tradeshow that will showcase over 40 local Montana produce, meat, food, and spirit companies from every corner of our great state. 

The show will take place on Tuesday October 10, 2017 at the Best Western Plus GranTree Inn in Bozeman Montana.

The show is free and will be open to professional buyers only from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and open to the general public from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Professional buyers, like school nutrition professionals can register at: http://agr.mt.gov/Montana-Food-Show-2017


Fall School Wellness in Action Workshops

WHAT: These workshops will review the benefits of a strong wellness policy, USDA requirements for the school wellness policy and showcase best practices and available tools (for assessing and outreach).  Each workshop will include inspiring presentations, resources, networking, roundtable discussion, and goal setting to help all attendees get involved.  We recommend bringing a team (2-3) people from your school community, like an administrator, food service, educator, health or community member.

WHO: School wellness coordinators and champions, school board trustees, administrators, school nutrition directors, educators, health professionals, parents, and community partners. Come learn, share, and get inspired!

WHEN & WHERE: Missoula – November 7, Havre – November 30, and Billings – December 7, 2017. Each workshop is from 1 to 4 pm. This workshop will be repeated in Butte, Kalispell and Miles City in the fall 2018.  

If these dates don’t work for you or you would like to host a school wellness workshop for your area, we are happy to provide the training and/or technical assistance. 

Continuing Education: 3 hours of OPI Credit/USDA Professional Standards will be available for participants.

REGISTER: Space is limited, so register early (for free) at: http://app.keysurvey.com/f/1168104/9392/

Come learn, share, and get inspired!   


Now Available! The New Interactive Recipe Analysis Workbook (RAW) – A Feature of the New Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs Interactive Web-Based Tool

Hot off the press! The Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs (FBG) Interactive Web-Based Tool now includes a new component, the Recipe Analysis Workbook (RAW). The RAW helps program operators determine the meal pattern contribution for their recipes! You can now easily search for creditable ingredients, calculate the meal pattern contribution, and print a contribution statement. Stay tuned for more upcoming releases related to the FBG to include a downloadable version and a Mobile App!

The Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs (FBG) is the essential tool for food yield information for all Child Nutrition Programs, helping you: 1) purchase the correct amounts of foods and 2) determine the meal pattern contribution.

The FBG Interactive Web-Based Tool (released July 2017) allows you to:

It also includes the interactive Product Formulation Statement Workbook, allowing manufacturers to easily calculate their product’s contribution statement and generate crediting documentation.

It’s now easier than ever to access the new Food Buying Guide for Child Nutrition Programs Interactive Web-based Tool.  Create your account and verify with one simple click!


National Farm to School Network Report - Economic Impacts of Farm to School


For more information:

Webinar: Economic Impacts of Farm to School
Wednesday, Oct. 11 // 12-1pm ET
Farm to school strives to strengthen the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education settings. In this free webinar, join us to learn about the economic impacts of farm to school initiatives through a case study approach. This webinar is part of a wider effort to promote the release of an associated report “Economic Impacts of Farm to School: Case Studies and Assessment Tools” (a collaborative project of the National Farm to School Network and Colorado State University). We will highlight the use of two key resources for conducting economic impact studies of food system initiatives (the USDA’s “The Economics of Local Food Systems: A Toolkit to Guide Community Discussions, Assessments and Choices” and Cornell’s “A Practitioner’s Guide to Conducting and Economic Impact Assessment of Regional Food Hubs using IMPLAN: A Systematic Approach”) and their application to farm to school economic impact assessment. In addition, hear from the Food System Research Team from Colorado State University about continuing work to better understand the impacts of farm to school activities on food supply chains, educational programing, and household food purchases.

Register: https://colostate.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8kpxQudcKHs857L


FRAC Webinars

Afterschool Meals Matter

Using Data and Events to Build Programs
October 19, 2017 11:00 AM Mountain

Learn how data and events can be used to identify gaps in service, enhance outreach efforts and engage advocates to expand the Afterschool Meal Program.

Breakfast Matters

Community Eligibility: Strategies to Improve Your ISP
Wed, Oct 11, 2017 12:00 PM Mountain

A joint webinar of FRAC and the School Nutrition Association.
Community eligibility is a huge success, reducing paperwork for schools and increasing school breakfast and lunch participation. Still, nearly 45 percent of eligible schools have not yet implemented this beneficial option, and schools that were early adopters of community eligibility will have to redo their ISPs for the 2018-2019 school year. Since the Identified Student Percentage (students certified for free school meals without an application) determines the level of reimbursement a school will receive and whether or not the school will operate in the black, taking steps to improve a districts’ ISP will ensure that the ISP accurately reflects the poverty in the school and make community eligibility a more viable option. This webinar will cover best practices for improving direct certification, making sure that children who are homeless, in foster care, etc., are certified without an application, and conducting SNAP outreach to help improve your districts’ ISP.


Action for Healthy Kids Fall 2017 Webinars

Check out our can't-miss fall webinars to help you transform your school in an effort to make every kid healthy. 

Register for one or all of them today. Continue reading for the full list of upcoming webinars. 

School Breakfast: Moving Meals Improves Participation
Tuesday, October 10, 1 - 2 pm (MT)
Join our webinar to discover the many benefits of moving school meals out of the cafeteria and before the bell.

Wellness Wednesday: Healthy Celebrations are More Fun
Wednesday, October 11, 2 – 3 pm (MT)
Learn how to have fun with healthy classroom parties and school celebrations. Join this webinar for ideas and resources for parents, teachers and students to incorporate into your next party.

Recess: Why it Should Rock
Tuesday, October 24, 1- 2 pm (MT)
Learn why recess is an evidence-based strategy to enhance learning environments and active schools during this webinar. 

Wellness Wednesday: Integrating Movement into a Well-Rounded Education
Wednesday, November 8, 2 - 2:30 pm (MT)

Join this webinar to learn about integrating movement into a well-rounded education. Hear examples from AFHK schools and create active classrooms through simple and manageable movement strategies, games and lesson ideas.

Family and Community Engagement 101: Maximizing Volunteers for School Health
Thursday, November 16, 1 - 2 pm (MT)

It’s essential to make the most out of your family and community volunteers and partners to make the most out of your school health programs. This webinar will prepare you on how to best use the parent and community volunteers you already have, and how to find the best volunteers to meet your school health needs.

Game On for Child Nutrition Professionals
Thursday, November 30, 2 - 3 pm (MT)

Game On supports America’s schools in creating healthier school environments. This webinar will introduce Game On to child nutrition professionals. Discover the many resources Game On offers to support your role as the healthy eating experts at your school.

Game On for Healthy and Physical Education Teachers
Tuesday, December 5, 1 - 2 pm (MT)

This webinar will provide specific examples and tips on how to integrate Game On into health and physical education; address the professional role health and physical educators play in coordinating and sustaining school wellness initiatives.

Wellness Wednesday: Integrating Nutrition Education into a Well-Rounded Education
Wednesday, December 13, 2 - 2:30 pm (MT)

Learn how your school can integrate nutrition education into core subjects. Strategies, tips and lesson ideas can be used at all levels and in multiple subjects. 

Wellness Wednesday: Is Your School Ready to Take the SuperFit School Challenge? 
Wednesday, January 10, 2 - 2:30 pm (MT)

Join us to learn about our new fundraising program, SuperFit School Challenge, and how your school can focus on helping students become healthier while raising more funds.

Get Recognized as a Healthy School with the HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms Initiative
Thursday, January 25, 12 - 1 pm (MT)
Join this webinar to learn more about the HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms initiative and get tips and tricks for submitting a successful application. 

The Latest and Greatest on Local School Wellness Policies
Tuesday, January 30, 1 - 2 pm (MT)

Learn about the latest trends, research and resources for your district's Local School Wellness Policy to ensure compliance with requirements.